AutoExpress on the MINI SAV

AutoExpress is reporting on the MINI SUV. They are also running the picture of the lifted Clubman again.

These include a MINI SUV, which Auto Express revealed in Issue 965. Likely to be based on the Clubman, this car will feature raised suspension and tough body cladding.

While this rendering looks better than the robot-like testing mule we saw earlier, don’t expect it to too much like the image above. AutoExpres doesn’t have a great track record with rendering like this.

[ MINI SUV Gets goahead ]
  • RB

    Odd Audi-ish front end.

  • gokartride

    I don’t expect to see anything real-looking on this for a year or two.

  • Lazy S

    Build it NOW!

  • nuvolari

    Available with AWD? If so, this is interesing. Otherwise this is completely silly.

  • Jon

    Still have to believe this is the worse idea to date from Mini!

  • JP

    BMW is looking to build vehicles in South Carolina or some other inexpensive place. In addition, it wants to sell 2 Million cars. In Europe it’s CO2 that is driving the equation. Whether it can sell a SUV is anybodys guess.

  • Fussner

    Gabe, does the All MINI Workshop ship internationally?

  • Gabe, does the All MINI Workshop ship internationally?

    Yes, I believe they do. But you’ll want to ask just to make sure. They do speak english if you were wondering.

  • Joe

    I’m with Jon, the pics I’ve seen are just awful. I thought it was an April’s fools joke when I first saw it. What they need to is develop and awd r56 🙂

  • MINIme

    I would buy this vehicle (pictured) right now if AWD, LTD Slip, and JCW kit is available. I love the idea of an SUV (SAV).

  • Jon

    I know Mini is trying to find new customers, but I feel they are in act of betraying the brand by going into the Suv market. The problem boils down to this, Mini is looking for markets they don’t currently sell to as potential customers. The Micro SUV is an example of this, but this same mentality would also work for producing a pickup and full size SUV.

    To me the sheer concept of a Mini SUV is poised like a dagger over the heart of the Mini community. I for one say here and now that I will never accept a SUV as being part of the Mini community. I will never bother to notice one or share a single wave to one.

  • cze33r

    The world doesn’t need another SUV or SAV (??)in the case of the X6. MINI should be taking a leaf out of Gordon Murrays book …. lighter, smaller, more fuel efficient without resorting to Toyota Prius like gimmicks.

    MINI’s should be honest and simple, please MINI, don’t forget were you came from.

  • Jon

    Very well stated cze33r!

    I keep hoping that somebody at Mini/BMW will wake up and realize that the entire concept of a SUV is an outright betrayal to the brand. Even the Moke is nowhere close to being what they are designing. The Moke would be more of a striped down jeep than just another crossover.

  • Roger

    Wow … I for one really like the mock-up of the Mini SAV. Looks like my S on steroids — and w/four doors. I bet a lot of small families might like it.

    I don’t see it as a betrayal or as a poised threat – but simply as a smart diversification of the brand. Especially if Mini can build a smaller, lighter, more eco-friendly SAV … well that would be something to cheer about.

    I think Minis, no matter what segment they pursue, will always be the mini in the crowd.

  • Jon

    Well the fact is the last five years Mini has based itself on blasting SUV’s. Its also true that BMW is in process of planning the X1, so why build two small suv’s. I personally believe that it would make much more sense for Mini to develop a lighter higher milage car, or spend the millions of dollars they are going to spend developing a hybrid Mini.

    Just have to say glad that Issigonis isn’t around to see a SUV with Mini attached to it. Just can’t wait to see a 3000 pound beamoth claiming to be a Mini coming down the street!

  • Ken

    “ug” is all I can say.

  • Spectre

    Just today Magna Steyr (The manufacturer behind the BMW X3 SUV) has officially announced their plans to build the MINI SAV in their Austrian assembly plant. So this will be the first “New MINI” built outside of Cowley and the UK.

    One thing that critics of the SAV keep forgetting is the fact that BMW/MINI are first and foremost in the business of making money (And this is true of 100% of automakers out there). Munich and Oxford honestly don’t care whether a fraction of the current MINI customer base either approves or disapproves on the direction of their future product portfolio. Ever since BMW brought back the MINI at the beginning of the decade, management kept harping on the fact that in order for the brand to survive, thrive and make profits for the Quandt family (The Quandts is the family that owns and controls the BMW group), MINI would have to expand their lineup offerings and become a full fledge car company. Anyone thinking that MINI will survive making cute hatchbacks and convertibles is simply out of tune with reality.

    MINI marketing has obviously succeeded in making their hardcore customer bases in believing anything they want, including but not limited to, bashing SUVs and the SUV lifestyle.

    However, the marketing department does not dictate the difficult business decisions that arise from keeping a seemingly successful brand afloat. This means that whether we like it or not, MINI will have no choice but to offer a full range of models to attract varied and different segments of the market. Whether this strategy will work or not for the Quandts is yet to be seen. But one thing is certain… If MINI is to survive years and decades into the future they will have no other option but to build vehicles for different market segments, not just the hardcore weekend track enthusiasts.

    The MINI SAV is a very risky step but one that the Quandts and the BMW Group believes to absolutely necessary to justify the high production costs and ensure that the brand and its products will remain competitive in this cut throat business.

    Porsche did the same 5 years ago with the aweful Cayenne. They did manage to upset a good portion of their existing customer base in the name of added profits. It is debatable whether the Cayenne has been the market success they have claimed it to be, but one thing is certain… Porsche betrayed their image and essence as the maker of pure and uncompromising sports cars. Porsche has become yet another car company, offering SUVs alongside $100K+ Carreras. Another very un-Porsche model to follow will be the much talked about 4 door “Coupe” Panamera that is supposed to go after the market segment Mercedes created with their CLS 4 door “Coupe” model.

  • Jon

    Very well said Spectre

    Still I have the feeling that what Mini is failing to understand is the greatest financial asset to selling their cars is the overwhelming support of the Mini community. A major reason the car has gotten as much attention as it has by the media is because of the cult like devotion to the brand by many of us. I believe that more Mini’s have been sold due to grass roots Mini owners than any advertisment.

    My fear is that this move based on greed is going to plunge a dagger into the heart of the Mini community. I for one will never either accept a SUV Mini but I will use every opportunity to express my personal dissatisfaction with this move. I feel that this is such a betrayal that I will not purchase another Mini after they start selling an SUV. At every junction while talking to perspective Mini buyers this betrayal to the brand will be on top of my list of what to share with them.

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  • MINIme

    “A man’s mind, stretched by a new idea, can never go back to its original dimension.”

    — Oliver Wendell Holmes

    “The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.”

    — Charles Kettering, inventor

    “If they build it right, I will buy it!” –MINIme